Music Review: TRUE STRENGTH – The Cross Will Always Prevail

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true strength the cross will always prevailTRUE STRENGTH
The Cross Will Always Prevail
Independent
2014

When I first came across the band True Strength, I didn’t know much about them. I just noticed this debut release of theirs — The Cross Will Always Prevail — mentioned on one of the sites I check out sometimes to keep up with current releases. I presumed by the style of the album artwork and the classic metal sound of the sample clips I previewed that this was one of those long-lost obscure classic metal nuggets from the 1970s that finally got some re-release digital love. That’s why I bought The Cross Will Always Prevail.

Doing a bit more research on True Strength, I’ve come to find that, contrary to my assumptions, they’re a project that isn’t an old 70s outfit, but was formed in 2012 as a ministry-focused metal band that, among other things, dedicates all of their music sales to charities.

You could, however, forgive me for my original assumptions, because the kind of metal True Strength plays is a retro style throwback to the NWOBHM from the 70s and early 80s. After the brief, 38-second intro “Exorcism”, we get the title track “The Cross Will Always Prevail”, which features a classic metal riff and hook, melodic with a good guitar solo. “Christian Battle Cry” shows a bit more on the technical side, anchored with a nice galloping riff and another rather good solo; “Under The Scimitar” is more mid-paced with another good classic metal riff and hook; “Stave The Fires Of Moloch” is a 10-plus minute epic-length song that ventures into doom territory at times; “Michael The Archangel” is probably the heaviest song on this album, with an almost speed metal riff going on; “When We Meet At Armageddon” is a more straight-forward metal song, but seems to have a weaker chorus; and finally, “Key To The Abyss” ends the album with a good metal riff and hook to send you on your way. Whatever that means, it just popped in my head just now.

Unlike your standard high-pitched METAAAAAAAAL! vocals you would expect with metal like this, the vocals actually sound like Dennis DeYoung from Styx in the delivery, which is different but actually works in the music’s favor. There are some points, though, where the vocals get a bit sloppy, especially on “Stave The Fires Of Moloch”, which I notated while listening to this, that they sound more like the guy from Light Force back in the day. The production is a bit on the thin side, but for an independent released project, it’s pretty good, really. You get the sense that The Cross Will Always Prevail would sound fantastic on vinyl.

This was originally released as a digital only release, but has been picked up for distribution through Roxx Productions, so it’s in good hands. I picked my copy up on Amazon (naturally); overall, The Cross Will Always Prevail is very much worth a look for you old Righteous Rockers out there.

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Music Review: ADVOCATE – Exigency

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ADVOCATE - ExigencyADVOCATE
Exigency
Pentecost Records
1992

Advocate was a band from Denver, Colorado. They formed in 1990 and released a demo called Exigency in 1992, then apparently split up in 1995. And that is the extent of the information that I was able to glean from the internet about this particular group. Oh, and their style is listed as “thrash metal”, though I may have a bit to say about that. But, I’ve done reviews on less information before, so let’s get to this, shall we?

First, that cover art. I’ve seen worse, really. But, the album art for this release does rank up there as far as not being representative of the music itself. It’s no pink unicorn on a white backdrop, mind you, but still it has more of an “illustration for vacation bible school” vibe going on. But anyway, the music. Remember in the previous paragraph where I mentioned that Advocate was listed as “thrash”? I disagree. The music is really more heavy metal that leans towards thrash at times, much like Metal Church. There’s some really good riffs and solos going on here, as well as some good solid musicianship with the crafting of the songs, showing a kind of talent that keeps things from getting stale. The big issue I have with the music, though, are the vocals. They’re…passable. Kind of in need of more polish in several instances, and for whatever reason the vocals are way up in the mix, dominating the other instruments into a slightly muffled background position. That’s rather distracting.

Overall, Exigency is a six-song demo that has some rather good ideas going with the music, but it’s hampered by a sub-par vocal mix. Regardless, had they kept at it, they could have really had something going. I have no idea what caused them to break up, but this one evidence of their existence is still out there. Worth a bit of a look if you happen to run into it.

Music Review: CONSECRATOR – Image Of Deception

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consecrator - image of deceptionCONSECRATOR
Image Of Deception
Bombworks Records
2004

Consecrator is (was?) a thrash metal band that was formed in Texas in 1989, released a couple of demos, then broke up in 1993. Then, if the Metal Archives site is to be believed, the group reformed in 2004, which coincided with the release of this particular compilation collecting their two demos on one CD on the Bombworks Records label.

I’m going to take a moment, here, and make mention that, at the time of this writing, Roxx Records is getting set to release a remaster version of this compilation, with new artwork, a never before released song from 2004, and a bonus DVD featuring a live show from the band back in the day. I do this because I want to urge you all to get in on the re-release from Roxx of this album. Not only because this Bombworks edition was only limited to 300 copies, but Roxx has been fantastic with the remastering and re=releasing of several long out of print classics. And no, I’m not on their payroll. I’m just a satisfied customer, is all. Anyway…

Concerning the music that Consecrator put out, after the initial listen to this collection, I stand in awe at the fact that these guys never managed to get signed to any of the labels back in the day. I mean, this is some rather great thrash metal, here, worthy of inclusion on R. E. X. Records roster of thrash metal bands at least. This is some blistering thrash metal, here, chock full of hooky riffs and finger-melting solos and solid rhythms to give you the biggest bangover of your life. Of the two demos that are included on this release, Image Of Deception is the better quality over Demo from 1990, from a production quality perspective. I don’t know if they only had a worn cassette copy of the first demo, but there were some parts that were almost unlistenable. Which is the pity, because the metal on both is epic thrash and metal played very well, very tight and very, very ferocious. This is the primary reason I mentioned the Roxx Records re-release. Because I am of the opinion that everyone should check out Consecrator’s work, and in the best possible quality available.

Will I be purchasing the re-release when it comes out? Boy howdy. In the meantime, though, this copy of of the Image Of Deception compilation will get further plays until then.

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – 2017 Easter Special

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2017 EASTER SPECIAL

Featuring Cuts From:

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Mandatory March: BLOODGOOD

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Wrapping up this year’s Mandatory March with the legendary

BLOODGOOD

with cuts from:

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Mandatory March: ULTIMATUM

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March 18, 2017

MANDATORY MARCH

Featuring:

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With cuts from:

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Mandatory March: MORTIFICATION

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March 4, 2017

MANDATORY MARCH

featuring:

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with cuts from:

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